Books & Brews is a new series of events for book lovers, music fans, and java junkies. The first installment also doubles as a launch party for Devault-Graves Agency, which is re-releasing a pair of critically acclaimed but long-out-of-print fiction titles using the life and legacy of Elvis Presley to spin dark-edged yarns about jukebox heroes and American dreams.
Publisher Tom Graves (also the author of Getting Naked with Harry Crews and Pullers: A Novel) describes Stark Raving Elvis by William McCranor Henderson and That's All Right, Mama by Gerald Duff as "Two of the finest rock-and-roll novels ever written." He says the double release is also just the beginning of an ongoing project to resurrect great out-of-print books about music.
When it comes to satirical depiction Elvis is low-hanging fruit. Fictional versions abound, often in the form of puffy, white-jumpsuited grotesques, but the authors of Stark Raving Elvis and That's All Right, Mama have avoided most of the usual pitfalls. Henderson's novel tells the story of Byron Bluford, a nobody factory worker from Portland, Maine, whose one great achievement in life was his teenage performance as Elvis in an Elk's Club talent contest. Following a brief backstage encounter with the King, Bluford comes to believe he's been called to take care of Elvis' unfinished business. That's All Right, Mama has a classical edge and a Southern Gothic heart. It imagines a world where Elvis' stillborn twin Jesse Garon lived, becoming a secret stand-in for his weaker brother.
Duff and Henderson will both be available to answer questions and discuss their work at the inaugural Books & Brews. Everybody who buys a book will also receive a complimentary Devault-Graves coffee mug and a free cup of coffee.